What is Shirodhara?
Shirodhara (shiro-dar-a) is an ayurvedic therapy that works to ease, purify and balance the mind. Shiro means “head,” and dhara means “dripping oil as if a thread.” Shirodhara consist of pouring a thin and steady stream of warm oil continuously on the forehead for 20 to 40 minutes. Sesame oil is typically used and prepared with healing herbs, though depending on your imbalance, or vikriti, the oil could be adjusted. The oil is poured from a traditional copper vessel and your eyes are covered. When this oil is poured over this third eye chakra, it can expand one’s awareness, alleviate any anxieties and balance the mind.
My Shirodhara Experience
When I arrived to the Club, I was able to use their amenities and I did. I spent some time relaxing in their eucalyptus sauna and the whirlpool. I do regret not giving myself enough time to cool down before the treatment, but it was great to have access to those amenities. I was able to have a cup of tea and a glass of water before the treatment too.
My shirodhara experience started off with an assessment of my dosha imbalances. The practitioner then gave a with a full body oil massage followed by the shirodhara treatment. She used sesame oil infused with herbs. During the massage, I tried to stay in a state of meditation. I tried to focus on every stroke of the massage and every breath I took. During the shirodhara, I focused on how the oil felt on my head. I focused on the colors I saw on the backs of my eyelids. The shapes of the colors and how long those colors lasted. I kept my mind clear of any thoughts that did not pertain to the present moment. If my mind wandered, I came back to the colors or the feeling of the oil as it touched my skin. I was a beautiful experience. I took my time to get up. I reflected on how I felt in that moment. How clear my mind was from any negative thoughts or any thoughts at all. I just felt good. I felt enough and I felt whole.
Afterwards the practitioner informed me of what imbalances she felt in my body. Even though I was born predominately Kapha, She said that my Vata was out of balance and it would be because of the season or where I currently am today. I sat and drank tea looking out of the window at the branches of the trees, quietly and meditatively. I felt calm and at peace.
Finding out that my Vata was imbalanced was super interesting for a few reasons.
- Before my treatment, I had the intention of weeding my garden then coming home to plant my seeds…But it was raining before my treatment so I wasn’t able to play in my garden. Being in physical contact with the earth is a Vata Balancing activity. So I wondered if that had anything to do with it.
- I’ve been really reevaluating my body and mind and it’s constitution or prakriti. I’ve thought for years that I was a Kapha/Pitta. I knew I was born and grew up with a lot of Kapha characteristics and thought due to society and my mother who is super Pitta, that Pitta was my secondary. I know that I’ve always had anxiety and some other Vata characteristics, but never thought of myself of having much Vata in my prakriti. Recently like over the past couple weeks, I’ve been revisiting quizzes and reevaluting wether some of my Pitta characteristics are actual characteristics of mine or if I’ve just been imposing these characteristics to try to balance out my Kapha. Anyway! I need to do a post on just this idea and hear some opinions!
- I wore galaxy/space leggings to the treatment. Vata is the dosha of air and space. Just thought that was funny.
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